A long ribbon of ‘sea-slime’ was spotted in several bays across Malta this week, and it seems like one of the nation’s worst (and most disgusting) enemies is back.
The news came amidst allegations that a ninth tuna pen had illegally appeared in the St. Paul’s Bay area, despite regulation stating there should actually be eight.
In a group of photos provided to The Malta Independent by the environmental organization Stop the Slime, the trail can be easily seen just off the coast of St. Paul’s Bay (underneath the Wignacourt Tower) and Exiles in Sliema.
A couple of days later, Times of Malta reported that, following investigations, the Environment and Resources Authority indicated that the slime did not come from fish farms, but was “natural foam”. The Parliamentary Secretary for Agricultural and Fisheries, Roderick Galdes, reiterated this point in Parliament, which would link this week’s incident to a similar claim made last October.
This is not the first time that something on these lines has happened, and while the slime was established to have originated from Maltese fish farms in several cases over the summer of 2016, the farm operators have denied any responsibility for these more recent cases.
An ERA spokeswoman claimed that while the authority was well aware of this last week’s cases and was collaborating with the University of Malta “to investigate such occurrences in a scientific manner”, she also went on to say that the recent strong winds and rough seas which have hit the islands are being linked to the appearance of this slime.
Some have raised concerns that the recent occurrences of foam or slime align too closely seem to reports of new, illegal tuna pens around the island. What do you think?